Exceptional Expressions For Everyday Events
Find is a common word in classrooms. To find is to search for something lost or unknown. Teachers often ask students to find the solution to a math problem by working out the problem in their heads. Students can conduct experiments to find out, for instance, what happens when plants are not watered.
The word find is used as both a verb and a noun. As a verb, it can refer to a search for physical objects, such as a missing jacket or hat. People can also find something abstract, however, such as the resolution to a conflict. Because there are different processes at work when finding a physical object versus an abstract idea, many synonyms for find have narrow definitions. But some synonyms can serve in either situation.
- Can there be different ways to find the correct answer to a math problem?
- In what part of a book would you find the definition of a word?
- How is a map useful to help find a park in an unfamiliar city?
- What might students find out as the result of a science lab?
The Spanish Connection
Find comes from the Old English word findan, which means “come upon, alight on.” The Spanish word for to find is encontrar. Even though find and encontrar are not cognates, some synonyms for find do have Spanish cognates.
- The word find as a noun refers to something that was found, either a physical object or, an idea. However, when the term is “a find,” the assumption is that the find is in some way exceptional. “A find” could be an important archaeological discovery, or a rare comic book turned up in a neighborhood garage sale.
- The word finder is a person who finds or discovers something. The suffix -er is often used with adjectives to make comparisons (such as big and bigger), but here it is a derivational suffix that indicates the person who performs the action (such as farm and farmer, drive and driver).
- The compound word viewfinder is the name for the part of a camera that helps a photographer find and compose a photo.
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